A project 18 years in the making was proposed to the Lehigh Township Supervisors at the July 10 board meeting. Chip Hazard, chairman of the building committee, had a detailed presentation on a plan to complete a public works maintenance building that has been in the works since 2000. The 22,600-square-foot building is estimated to cost 3.5 to 3.95 million dollars not including designing the foundation, soil testing, permits and other site expenses. The total site work was estimated to be approximately $750,000.
Some of the building’s features highlighted in Hazard’s PowerPoint presentation included:
- A drive-through design for easy vehicle access, which would require less paving around the building.
- A climate-controlled office for administrative work and file storage.
- A trench drain that will allow employees to wash vehicles indoors, keeping with state environmental standards (MS4).
- Two furnaces will be included, with one heating the main structure and the other heating the office area and employee bathrooms/locker rooms.
- Employee unisex bathrooms and a locker room with showers that would be included at the suggestion of Public Works employees.
- Energy efficient LED lighting with different switches for ambient, shop lighting, etc.
- A large ventilation system with fans to keep air circulating through the structure.
- A floor constructed with high-strength concrete that would stand up to the salt brought in by the road crews.
- Roof with ridge design that would prevent snow or rain from blowing indoors.
Hazard emphasized that this plan was a good way forward for this project that has been receiving contributions from the budget for funding for 12 of the last 18 years totaling $837,000. “We have been procrastinating for 18 years,” he said.
A Lehigh Township resident and Fire Police Captain, Barry Fry, also spoke in favor of the new building. “All I ask is that we look at this [plan]. As an ex-OSHA inspector, I would have failed your current building in a heartbeat.”
The board agreed that they need to look at all of the information available on the project and figure out the best option for financing it.
The next Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors meeting will be on July 24 at 7 p.m. at the municipal building.